back, chest, head, hand, leg

Parts of the Body

Idiom Explanation Example
behind somebody’s back talk about someone/do something without someone knowing, especially when they would not like it

I told them not to buy a kitten but they bought one behind my back.

Mark was not a good manager and the staff often talked about him behind his back.

get something off your chest say something you have wanted to say for a long time (a secret) and feel better for doing it

I feel so guilty, I need to get something off my chest; it was me who scratched the car, not Jerry.

bite/snap somebody’s head off speak angrily to somebody with no reason I was just asking a question, there’s no need to bite my head off!
like a bear with a sore head bad tempered Jenny is like a bear with a sore head in the mornings, it’s best not to talk to her.
have (got) to hand it to somebody admit that you admire somebody for their skills or achievements (perhaps unwillingly) You have to hand it to Mike; his English has really improved. He must have studied a lot.
pull somebody’s leg tell somebody a joke or something that isn’t true —Maria is pregnant!
—What? I’m not ready to be a father!
—Relax, I was pulling your leg.
display incorrect answers

Exercise C1

Complete the sentences with the words below.

back – chest – hand – head (x2) – leg

  1. My boss loses her temper easily. She’s like a bear with a sore   .
  2. I have to   it to Robert. He’s the best golfer I know.
  3. She felt much better after she had gotten the secret off her   .
  4. They told me I was an hour late for work but in the end they were pulling my   .
  5. I asked Patrick where the stapler was and he bit my   off.
  6. Betty forbade the children from eating pizza while she was away. She told them, “It's not healthy”. But they ate it behind her  .

Choose the correct idiom.

  1. Although I don’t like to admit it, Jessica is very good at spelling, probably the best in the class.
  2. When I’m hungry, I get very grumpy.
  3. Mark told Amy that he was in love with Zoe and Amy promised to keep it a secret. After a week Amy wanted to tell somebody – she didn’t like keeping secrets.
  4. Nina can be very bossy. Her classmates don’t like her very much, and they tell stories about her when she leaves the room.
  5. “Hey look! It’s a bird, it’s a plane. No, it’s Superman!”
  6. My teacher was in a bad mood last week.

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